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III - Survey Archaeology And Demography

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers some of the key debates concerning the demography of Roman Italy from the perspective of archaeological field survey. First, it addresses the question of whether or not the results of survey archaeology reveal the supposed decline of the peasantry during the second century BC; specifically, it examines the republican settlement evidence of the South Etruria survey. Second, the chapter considers a demographic model of the early imperial suburbium and evaluates its working assumptions; in particular, it considers the significance of this suburban population for the wider debate about the size of the early imperial population of Italy as a whole?the ?high? vs. ?low? counts. Finally, two models are developed to explore the implications of these high and low population figures for our assessment of the significance of the archaeological evidence; they imply two very different reconstructions of the socio-economic organization of Roman Italy.

Keywords: Demography; Roman Italy; suburbium; Survey Archaeology



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